Posted by: Jusuchin (Military Otaku) | 02/08/2010

Blog Post #3

The World is not Beautiful, Therefore it is.

-more after jump-

This seems like a good enough time to start my blog on something I obsess about. Japanese Animation. Japanese Animation, more commonly known as Anime, is basically what the title is. It’s animation from Japan. It has its roots in Western and American Animation, and basically falls under the same category. Somewhat. While Animation in America is mainly used as entertainment, with shows catering to small kids, teens, and young adults, Anime in Japan can have a varied following. While it would be rare to fine an Animated show that isn’t The Simpsons or Dora the Explorer in America, and based, say, on a famous literary work, in Japan, stuff like it is common.

Now, that hopefully bewildering look into the introduction of Anime is not as confusing, this blog is more or less dedicated to the theme stated in the blog title. The series is called ‘Kino no Tabi’, or Kino’s Journey. Originally a series of light novels, it deals with a young female protagonist and her talking motorcycle as they travel their fantasy world. As lifted from wiki, the pair only visits the ‘country’ they’re in for three days and two nights, in order to ‘taste’ what the country has to offer while leaving time to explore other countries. The adventures they two have vary from the mundane to the dangerous. In one well known episode, the protagonist has to win her freedom via fighting in a gladiatorial right of citizenship. In another, she is met with a ruined civilization with the last of the inhabitants, who recounts how a despotic king was overthrown, and a direct democracy was put into place. Unfortunately, in this country, the notion of tyranny of the majority took hold once the minority ended up being hung form the gallows.

As a licensed work, Kino no Tabi isn’t easily available online. But then, there are those who provide. Included is the second movie, which would provide an interesting (if boring to some) watch and a nice way to pass 30 or so minutes as ‘homework’. Allow videos to load completely to avoid buffer hell.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

In this, one can make the statement about stem-cell research. How the sacrifices of the few benefits the whole. The girl’s friend, having developed a healthy immune system, is sent outside and sacrificed, his body turned into the very medicine the girl needs to survive. One cannot help but blame the guard, who knows the girl cannot live without the medicine, but will lead an empty existence without constant correspondence from the boy. Even without focusing on the issue of stem-cell research, the viewer is left to wonder at the thought processes of the characters. From the simple, hopeful view of the sickly girl, to Kino’s trademark indifference, to the guard’s guilty conscience yet devotion to his country’s secret.

The movie ends with a gunshot. Then cuts to Kino driving away. Did she shoot the guard, kill him and write the letter, or gave him a chance to write the letter? One never knows. This is just one story in a series that is still on-going. While many people may not like it due to its plain-ish art style, I like it primarily because the story is intriguing, the characters easy to relate to, and like Kino, I enjoy seeing the world, regardless of the ugliness of it. To see the beauty of something, it first must be compared to something we consider…ugly.



  1. […] this short video (was it truly short compared to Blog Post #3?) may had been talk and information heavy, it is just one example of why animation is quite […]

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